Houston Dynamo FC travel north on I-45 this weekend to face their in-state rival FC Dallas on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. Saturday’s match will air nationally on TUDN and Univision. Dynamo 2 will join the first team this weekend as they face North Texas SC at 4:20 p.m. CT at Toyota Stadium.
The Dynamo opened the week with a 2-1 victory over Rio Grande Valley FC in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday at PNC Stadium. Defender Sam Junqua scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of regulation on Tuesday, his first of the year. Goalkeeper Michael Nelson kept the game tied at one after he saved a penalty kick in the second half and the shot stopper picked up his second victory in a five-day stretch. Nelson earned the victory in Dynamo 2’s 4-1 triumph over Timbers 2 on April 19.
The Dynamo enter Saturday’s game with three victories in their last five league games. Houston played the Portland Timbers to a scoreless draw last Saturday and played the final 15 minutes, plus six minutes of stoppage time with 10 men. Dynamo defender Teenage Hadebe received his second caution of the game in the 75th minute and will miss Saturday’s match. Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark earned his second clean sheet of the season and first since the Dynamo held Real Salt Lake scoreless on Opening Day.
The Dynamo won the Texas Derby in 2021 with a 1-0-2 record. Houston earned the lone triumph of the series on Sept. 18 with a 3-2 victory at PNC Stadium. The Dynamo and FC Dallas played to a 1-1 draw on May 8, 2021 in their only meeting at Toyota Stadium. The all-time series is tied with both sides winning 13 times and 16 draws.
The Dynamo will face their third consecutive in-state rival on Saturday, April 30 when they host Austin FC at PNC Stadium.
DYNAMO 2 PREPARE FOR FIRST MEETING WITH IN-STATE RIVAL
Dynamo 2 currently sit alone in first place in the MLS NEXT Pro standings following last weekend’s 4-1 win over Timbers 2 in the team’s first match at PNC Stadium. Houston had four different players score goals in this game, including forward Beto Avila, who currently is tied for the lead in goals scored this season with four. Midfielder D’Alessandro Herrera, who broke through with his first goal of the season in 88th minute, was the only goal scorer from last week who had not previously scored in a match for Dynamo 2. Four players have found the back of the net for Dynamo 2 this season.
North Texas SC comes into this game just behind Dynamo 2 in the MLS NEXT Pro standings, currently holding 11 points out of a possible 12. The team won its most recent game against Earthquakes II by a final score of 1-0, the same score line as Houston when they defeated Earthquakes II on April 3. The lone goal in that game for North Texas came courtesy of Bernard Kamungo, who has three goals on the season.
In addition to Dynamo 2 playing their first game at PNC Stadium, a few players to feature for the team achieved some notable milestones this week. Goalkeeper Xavier Valdez was named to his first MLS match-day roster last Saturday, when the first team Dynamo played the Portland Timbers. Later in the week, both Avila and defender Talen Maples signed short-term loan agreements with the first team that allowed them to be on the roster for the team’s third-roundU.S. Open contest against Rio Grande Valley FC. Avila came on as a substitute in the 66th minute and would go on to record the game-winning assist in the third minute of stoppage time.
Here are three key points ahead of Saturday’s doubleheader:
- DEPTH ON DISPLAY: The Dynamo have now utilized 24 players this year and eight variations of their lineup as they navigate two tournaments for the remainder of 2022. With Tuesday’s victory in the U.S. Open Cup, the Dynamo will now navigate eight games across the next six weeks. The fixture breakdown features an even split of home and road games that will take the Dynamo to the nation’s capital, southern California, north Texas and Utah. Houston will look to maximize their stretch at home prior to the upcoming FIFA break as the Dynamo will enter the June window with eight of their 17 home games under their belt.
- DYNAMO AIM FOR FIRST SIX-POINT SATURDAY: Saturday’s doubleheader is the second in as many weeks and the club will aim for their first six-point matchday. The Dynamo first team enter Saturday’s game unbeaten in their last six games and Dynamo 2 are undefeated to start the MLS NEXT Pro regular season. This is the first doubleheader on the road for the Dynamo first and second teams, who have earned key points away from the Bayou City going into Saturday’s fixture.
- DYNAMO 2 OFFENSE SHARING THE WEALTH: After starting the season with three straight wins that each featured just one player accounting for all the goals in each game, Dynamo 2 changed things up this past weekend and got multiple players in on the goal scoring for the first time. The first three people to score last week had all already seen the back of the net this season. First it was Marcelo Palomino, who punched in an assist from Papa N’Doye in the 28th minute. Then, in the 43rd minute, N’Doye scored himself, with his goal coming off an assist from midfielder Brooklyn Raines. Avila was next, as he followed up his hat trick from last week with another goal in this game. Finally, it was the newcomer to the scoring column, D’Lo Herrera, who put the exclamation point on the game, with his 88th minute blast into the back of the net.